Timeshare property owners have lost at least $15 million in a timeshare reselling scheme, the Federal Trade Commission said.
According to the FTC’s complaint, operators of a Florida-based company called up property owners and falsely claimed that they would help sell their timeshares quickly or that they already had a buyer lined up.
Read more: Inside the timeshare sales pitch
Feds halt timeshare scheme
Targeted property owners, including many elderly people, paid as much as $2,500 in advance, but the FTC said the company never delivered on its promises.
In fact, the operators allegedly convinced some consumers to pay additional money for “closing costs.”
Once timeshare owners realized that their property was never going to be sold or rented, many of them requested refunds. However, the FTC said the company denied those requests.
The FTC said it hopes to permanently stop the alleged illegal practices and return money to consumers.
In the meantime, a federal court has temporarily halted the operation and froze the company’s assets while the case makes its way through the legal system.
Here are the defendants in the lawsuit, according to the FTC’s announcement:
Jess Kinmont, John P. Wenz, Jr., Pro Timeshare Resales of Flagler Beach LLC, Pro Timeshare Resales LLC, and J. William Enterprises LLC, doing business as Pro Timeshare Resales.
The FTC said that on numerous occasions the company made unsolicited calls to property owners whose numbers were on the Do Not Call Registry, an obvious red flag.
If you’ve received a similar call, file a complaint with the FTC online or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Clark’s take on timeshares
Clark has said in the past that timeshares are a rip-off, and they can be extremely difficult to unload no matter what you paid for them or when you bought them.
Bottom line: Beware of anyone who promises to sell your timeshare for an upfront fee.
Read more: The #1 rule of cheap travel